Friday, April 05, 2013

Catching up

I really thought I had written something recently! I must still have it in my head and have not uploaded to the blog! Happens quite a lot.

Last week, as I was walking to work at about 8 am, I noticed the sun was now shining directly in my eyes, and it was looking directly down the avenue. Remember I told you it had happened in September, and now it is doing it once more. I thought it would be sometime in early April, but I miscalculated. This time, the sun is on its trip down south. The days are much longer now, and the weather seems to be improving, but some days its hard to tell. I didn't wear any mittens to work this morning, and it was a bit chilly, but I refuse to accept that it is still winter! Although the calendar says it is spring, I really question that. We had some snow flurries yesterday.

I was looking at the Nanking Cherry bush in the next block this morning on my way to work. I am expecting it to burst out in blooms sometime in May. We then get one more final snowfall, which knocks the blossoms off, and we get no fruit! That's what happened last year. I think I only saw about 5 green cherries last year, and never got to taste any in the fall at all. Some years are like that.

I did find some Saskatoons in my freezer that I picked last year. I decided I needed to make room for other things, so took some out (still have more left) and cooked them up, thinking I would make some jam. They didn't want to break up! I tried mashing them too, but they are stubborn things. No matter. I will eat them up as they are. They are very good -- at least, I like them -- and have been using it for a topping on my cake (I made 3 last week; yes, they are all gone now).

What have I bee doing all this time? Well, I located two large grocery bags of raw ginned cotton that I acquired from somewhere, and I started to spin it. I did spin some many years ago, and I recall it took me a very long time to fill only one bobbin. I now remember clearly all over again! It does take a long time to fill one bobbin, mainly because the wheel I was using has a very low ratio and you need to put a lot of twist into cotton. I need to dig out (and I really do mean "dig out") one of my other wheels with a higher ratio and see if I can be more productive. I have to card the cotton first, make some punis, and then spin. But I don't have cotton cards, which means that my regular cards are creating too many noils and I don't want that. So I carefully use the teeth of the cards to "comb" the cotton, and I'm much happier with the result. However, this still takes time and slows down the whole process.

I have a project in mind that I want to do this summer, and I think it would be nice to use my own hand-spun cotton. It is going to be very fine. So I was toying with the idea of doing a 3-ply yarn... and then thought of all the extra spinning I need to do, and may re-think it later. Right now, I'm just spinning the singles, and will see what I do with them later.

There have been some other spinning and some knitting that happened during my long absence. I will post some pics later on. But this cotton is taking so much of my time right now that there hasn't been much else going on. On the weekends, I sit and spin all day long, watching some old TV westerns, until the sole of my foot (not my ankle) gets really sore. But I am making a lot of progress, and think I will get enough done by the time I start on my knitting project later this year.

That will have to be all for now, but wanted to let you know I am still here, doing fine, being very busy, and I don't seem to be getting anywhere. And so it goes.